Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I had an ah-ha moment at 7,000 feet recently which is way better than having an oh-no moment at 7,000 feet.
The day of our return flight home it was cold and overcast. I made this statement to my fellow travelers, "The sun is not out today". It is my custom to comment on the sun or lack of sunshine as I am not only keenly observant but also, to the core, solar powered.
Our pilot assured me that he checked the weather charts and that our departure needed not be delayed.
We took off and left the gray below.
That's when I had my moment (again, a good moment, not a face in the baggie kind of moment).
Climbing above the clouds and leveling off at 7,000 feet revealed another perspective--the sun was out indeed, it's just that my perception had been "clouded" (sorry).
The truth is that the sun is always out, it's just not always visible.
That can be said of many things.
Just because I don't see it, doesn't mean it's not real or true.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Land that I Love

Technically, I'm a Texan. I was born there, lived there through during middle school and high school, and many years later my hubby's job took us back there for a few years. But in most of the in between times, I lived in Arkansas. Something about that state says "Home" to me. It's where our families are. It's where God changed my heart and where I started a life walking with Him. It was where I went to college. It's where hubby and I met, married and started our own family. And now it's where my youngest one is making her mark.

I love going back...every chance I get.

This time the wait was short--a 2 hour flight instead of 8.5 hour drive.
Thanks to good friends, we are spoiled forever.

Iowa has a beauty all it's own as well.

But not as beautiful as this one...

and these people.

It was a great weekend (despite the outcome of the game) spent with family and friends and a few thousand other folks.

I love this place!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to Paint Deck Furniture

In case you were wondering...
Yes, it's me. More of a retail stimulator than a Do it Yourself-er, I took on a project recently that had literally been staring me in the face. Well at least visible everyday when I passed through the kitchen and looked out onto my deck. There was no more denying or delaying it (I had company coming) so I took on the project of repainting my metal deck furniture. I also re-stained the deck but I do not want to brag (too late)!

It was pretty mindless work but I got a little philosophical while I was at it so here goes:

1. Take Time, Take Care
This little project was long overdue. The metal table and chairs were about 10 years old and have been exposed to snow, sun, and rain for all of those 10 years. The original paint was flaking off and rust was setting in. The natural progression of things is decay. If you don't tend to them, they will fall apart.

2. Be Prepared- Gather Your Tools.
From another project I knew that I wanted to use this spray paint with a trigger nozzle. I had only found it at one of the home improvement stores in town so I needed to make a special trip to that particular store. Because of the rust and flaking metal, I knew I needed a steel brush and some major elbow grease for the prep work. Few things in life come without a little planning and hard work.

3. Expect back splash.

I was under a time constraint and had to work within a good weather window. Unfortunately, the sunny day I had to work was also a day of 10 mph wind gusts. Armed with a large piece of cardboard and geared in my grungy clothes, I was ready for battle. Life can get messy, dress appropriately.

4. Make a plan
Alright, here's where personality type comes in to play. I choose to work on the worst piece first. The rustiest one. The one that required the most scrubbing with the steel brush. I did this because I knew I would fade in stamina and in interest by the end of the project so I tackled the hardest piece first to get it out of the way. However, if one would need small victories along the way to keep one motivated to continue the project, I can see where starting with an easy task would boost one's confidence for the bigger projects ahead. To Thine own self be true.

5. Don't forget the undersides
I am a recovering perfectionist (children will do that to you) and have come to a place where I can be good with things being "good enough" but the underlying issue here was rust. It was setting in to the bolts and supports of the table and had to be dealt with--meaning scrubbing the devil out of it. Don't sweat the small stuff but don't ignore the stuff you can't see.

6. Admire your work. Celebrate your success.
With my table in it's "oil rubbed bronze" glory and back in it's location on the deck, I was able to admire the way it looks new with just a little time and effort. Pleased with the outcome, I made myself a little icy, creamy treat...

then saved the leftover paint for future touch ups because...
eventually we have to
Go back to step 1.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Life is Good

It was a good but brief weekend away.

She was real good...

(and even better to see in person)

Tailgating with family was good...

Hubby is still good
with the little ones...

even though it's been
18 years since she was that size...

Game was good...

Life is good!

Stop over at sweet Sarah's (and new supermom) to see more photos.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Picture Story

Soon, we will be going here

To see her

and maybe some of these people

especially the newest one

but for now, I'm trying to decide which one of these to put on my toes because...

besides my heart, she may have left with my favorite nail polish as well.